Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken Recipe

willie mays fried chicken recipe Dinner

How to make Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

If you find yourself in New Orleans and want to try some authentic Southern food, Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken should be at the top of your list.

Willie Mae’s Scotch House restaurant was originally opened in 1957 by Willie Mae Seaton, a former homemaker. In 2005, the restaurant was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina but was rebuilt and reopened by Seaton’s great-granddaughter, Kerry Seaton Stewart at this address. Since then, the restaurant has become one of New Orleans’ finest establishments and is known for its friendly service and, of course, its fried chicken. Over the years, the restaurant has won numerous awards and has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, making it a must-see for any foodie.

So what makes Willie Mae’s fried chicken different from other Southern-style fried chicken? It’s all about seasoning and preparation. The chicken is soaked in buttermilk and then dipped in a flour mixture seasoned with a secret blend of spices. The chicken is then fried until crispy and golden and served with creamy coleslaw and fluffy buttered cornbread. The result is juicy and flavorful chicken, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

In this article, we’ll review tips for making willie mae’s fried chicken recipe copycat at home, advise on what to serve with it, and even offer a few options for those who want to expand their Southern cooking horizons.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Portion count in recipe: 6-8 servings

Calories per serving: approximately 350 calories


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1-quart buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk for at least 12 hours (preferably overnight) in the refrigerator.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture, making sure to coat them evenly.
  5. Shake off any excess flour and carefully place the chicken pieces in the hot oil.
  6. Fry the chicken until it is golden brown and crispy, about 12-15 minutes for the breasts and 15-20 minutes for the legs and thighs.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oil and place it on a wire rack or paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite Southern sides, like mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread.

Nutrition Facts:

350 calories
17 grams of protein
15 grams of fat
30 milligrams of cholesterol
350 milligrams of sodium

Tips for Making Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

If you’re looking to recreate Willie Maes Chicken in your own kitchen, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a wet batter: One of the secrets to Willie Mae’s chicken is the wet batter used to coat the chicken before it’s fried. While the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, you can achieve a similar effect by using a buttermilk marinade to help tenderize the chicken and create a crisp crust.
  • Season well: Willie Mae’s chicken is seasoned with a secret blend of spices, but you can experiment with your own blend of herbs and spices to create a flavor that’s unique to your tastes.
  • Use a deep-fry thermometer: To ensure that your chicken is cooked through and has a crispy exterior, it’s important to monitor the temperature of your oil. A deep-fry thermometer will help you maintain the optimal frying temperature of 350-375°F.

What To Serve with Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

While Willie Mays Chicken is delicious on its own, there are plenty of side dishes that pair well with this Southern classic. Here are a few suggestions:

Coleslaw: A creamy coleslaw is a perfect accompaniment to Willie Mae’s fried chicken. The cool and tangy flavors of the coleslaw balance out the heat of the chicken and provide a refreshing contrast in texture.

Cornbread: Southern-style cornbread is a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with fried chicken. Willie Mae serves up fluffy buttered cornbread that’s a crowd-pleaser.

Mac and cheese: Creamy, cheesy mac and cheese is another great side dish to serve with fried chicken. It’s a comfort food classic that’s sure to please any crowd.

More Options for Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken

In addition to the classic fried chicken recipe, Willie Mae’s also offers some exciting options for those looking to mix things up.

  1. Smothered Chicken – This dish features Willie Mae’s fried chicken smothered in a rich gravy made with onions, peppers, and celery.
  2. Fried Chicken Sandwich – A popular item on the menu, this sandwich includes a juicy fried chicken breast served on a bun with pickles and mayo.
  3. Chicken Tenders – For those who prefer white meat, Willie Mae’s also serves up crispy chicken tenders that are perfect for dipping in their signature hot sauce.
  4. Fried Chicken and Waffles – A Southern classic, this dish features a serving of willie mays chicken alongside a fluffy waffle, drizzled with syrup and butter.
  5. Red Beans and Rice with Fried Chicken – This hearty dish includes red beans and rice, topped with a serving of Willie Mae’s crispy fried chicken

In conclusion

Willie Mays Chicken is more than just a dish – it’s a piece of history, a cultural icon, and a testament to the hard work and dedication of its founder, Willie Mae Seaton.

While there may be countless fried chicken recipes out there, there’s something truly special about the way that Willie Mae’s is made – with love, care, and a commitment to quality.


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